Credible polls key to economic growth: CZI

THE newly-elected Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Charles Msipa yesterday said a peaceful and credible election was key to the future of the economy.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

Speaking at a Press conference in Harare, Msipa said the country should have a government that promotes economic growth.

Msipa succeeded veteran industrialist Kumbirai Katsande after the industrial lobby group held an elective annual general meeting last Thursday.

“The conduct of a peaceful and credible election is the foundation block for the economic future of the country. If we achieve that as a country I am optimistic that we will have an improved economic performance,” he said.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold its general elections this year.

Msipa said in the first six months of the year, the country recorded job losses and company closures.

“The formal sector experienced company closures and loss of jobs. We have lost a lot of jobs in the first six months of this year, ” he said.

He, however, could not give figures on job losses and company closures. Msipa said industry performed well from 2009 to 2011, with the food and beverages sectors performing well, but the growth was stalled in 2011.

He said the growth was stalled due to liquidity constraints, cost of availability of capital and other business costs.

Capacity utilisation grew from 10% in 2009 to 57,2% in 2011 and it slumped to 44,2% in 2012. CZI ex-president Kumbirayi Katsande said the capacity utilisation level will decline this year due to company closures that have been witnessed in the country since last year.

The sector witnessed the closure of close to 90 companies in the past four years due to viability problems, which means a major decline in tax revenue to government coffers. He said CZI would be conducting the manufacturing survey next month and expects to complete it in September.

The survey would be looking at capacity utilisation, competitiveness of business operations, infrastructure and the availability of funding to the manufacturing sector.

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